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Dear diary,

So, as you read this, I will be ensconced in my stable at Your Horse is Alive meeting and greeting fans, hanging out with the stars and very possibly having a reunion with my favourite eventing queen. You’ll just have to go to the performances and see!

This week has seen me clipped, washed, brushed and generally titivated with to within an inch of my life, which I have repaid by rolling in the biggest pile of mud and dirt I could find. Mum was so pleased.

Nearly as pleased as Cool New Shoes Man when he came to shoe me on Tuesday and I showed him a clean set of heels — by throwing them up in his face and running off… The fact he plastered the video of this across Facebook was unfortunate as it meant she-who-must-be-obeyed saw it and was less than amused. She was fuming even further when tales of my antics on Wednesday got back to her: Aunty Em had decided to give me a gentle leg stretch on the lunge to limber me up ahead of the weekend. I decided that having a mad half an hour was much more fun and even the combined talent, training and frankly weight of Aunty Em AND then the Boss Lady was not going to stop me. Aunty Em’s impassioned pleas of “for God’s sake please stop before you lame yourself and I’m murdered by your mother” were not enough to deter me from my Mach 9 wall of death, which only came to an end when the Boss Lady eventually cunningly ran me into the school fence line.

Prayers were apparently sent to any deity who looks after both dumb animals (who they were praying for I know not?) and sharers such that I didn’t turn up yesterday hopping lame. I also think the use of drugs was mentioned but I’m not sure whether this was for me or mother?

So here I am. Back on the international equestrian stage, surrounded by admirers and overcome celebrities and some small Shetland dude called Teddy. I have been told he looks up to me, but to be honest, he’s so small he literally looks up to everyone. We’ve got a photo call together tomorrow so that should provide people with endless amusement — I just hope he’s more amenable than the last little person I tried to share the limelight with. During the photo shoot for the last book cover, the little mare starring with me tried to kill me on multiple occasions; fame clearly didn’t mean much to her…

Equally on a serious note (and yes, I am capable of that), let’s not forget why I’m here. It’s Bransby Horse’s 50th year — 50 years of helping horses and donkeys who can’t help themselves, 50 years of being a voice against suffering and an end to cruelty, 50 years of safe harbour and love to those who have never known it. I’m proud to be associated with that and if you guys find me funny and can find it in your hearts to buy the new book, then rest assured, every single penny goes to the charity. I don’t take anything. Other than the pee — out of mother, on a frequent basis…

Continued below…

Talking of remembering, let’s also this weekend take a moment to remember the brave men, women and animals who have fought and died for our country. I shall be wearing my poppy with pride this weekend and bowing my head in silence to remember the fallen. Lest we ever forget.

Really hope to see as many of you as possible this weekend. Please, please come and say hello and give us some support — it will be truly appreciated.

Laters,

A for once Humble Hovis

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